Happy first Friday of November! I'm so excited to share today's Famous Fridays post with you because it features one of my new favorite cookbooks Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor, who is not only the author of this gorgeous book but also the blogger behind the hit vegetarian and whole foods blog, Cookie + Kate. Today I'm featuring her truly wonderful recipe for Black Bean Tortilla Soup with Sweet Potatoes. Might want to stop at the market and pick up the ingredients for this one, because you are going to want to cook up a batch of this over the weekend. Trust me--it's asap good!!
I'm not a vegetarian but I love incorporating more veggie meals into our lives and I can definitely get behind the whole food concept. Especially during this time of year when we are heading into a dangerously caloric and sometimes less-than-good-for-you holiday eating season. Sure, I'm going to indulge in some (who am I kidding, a lot) of the holiday goodies but having easy-to-make, healthy alternatives around makes balanced eating more realistic. And Love Real Food is full of them! There are breakfast options like Apple Crisp Breakfast Parfait and homemade instant oatmeal, soups, salads, snacks and mains with offerings like Quinoa-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Eggplant Lasagne, Sesame Soba Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, Thai-Style Mango Slaw, etc. Plus there are gorgeous color photos of the food, clear instructions and helpful tips and lots of shots of Kathryne's adorable dog, Cookie!!
Now, onto this super soup which as you can see is full of good stuff like black beans, red peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. The broth itself is so flavorful but what really kicks this to the bliss point, are the crispy baked corn tortilla strips. Some are layered in the soup and some are used as a garnish so you get the double goodness of both softened and crunchy chips in every bite. YUM!!
And if you like, you can sprinkle on some feta and add a few sliced radishes for even more color texture and taste. Definitely one of our favorite new soups and one I predict I will be making all winter long! I know my boys are going to want to try this when they come home for break!
So...if you're looking for a great holiday gift for your favorite cook and want to get a jump on your shopping, this book would make a great gift! Or maybe it's just time to treat yourself--in the name of healthy eating and all. In any case, make the soup! I guarantee you're going to love it. And speaking of love, it's the weekend and how much do we all love that?!! Have a great, safe and delicious one and I'll be back next week with more seasonal offerings as we hurtle our way towards turkey day!!
Love Real Food's Black Bean Tortilla Soup with Sweet Potatoes-Famous Fridays
Makes 6-8 servings
Total Time for Soup: About 1 hour (only about 20 minutes is active); Prep Time for Tortilla strips: About 10 minutes
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- Two 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid (use fire roasted if you want even more spice)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (you could also use chicken broth but it won't be vegetarian then)
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced radishes and crumbled feta cheese as toppings (optional)
For the tortilla strips
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch or two of salt
1. To make the soup: Place the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, sweet potato, red pepper, jalapeño and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until onions are softened and sweet potato is tender. Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the beans, tomatoes and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Then lower the heat and let soup simmer for another 30-40 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
2. To make the corn tortillas: While soup is cooking, preheat oven to 400ºF and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tortilla strips on the sheet and toss with the 2 teaspoons oil, making sure all the pieces are coated. Then sprinkle with a bit of salt and arrange the strips in a single layer. Bake for about 4 minutes, turn the strips over and bake another 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden.
3. To serve the soup: Place a few tortilla strips in the bottom of each bowl. Top with a few ladlefuls of soup and then add additional tortilla strips on top.. Add on the radishes and feta if using. Serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor. I tinkered around a lot with this. Left out 2 teaspoons ground cumin from the broth as well as the cilantro, lime juice and hot red pepper flakes at the end. Didn't miss any of these because the soup is extremely flavorful but will try it with the 2 tablespoons lime juice added before serving next time I make this.